Vintage Black Glamour
October 28, 2011 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Vintage Black Glamour: an underexplored avenue of 20th century beauty and style.
posted by hermitosis (16 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Could anyone before or since be as simultaneously effortlessly cool and holy shit dorky as Sammy Davis Jr.?
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

I don't think the site layout really does justice to the content, unfortunately, but wow am I excited by the content. Off to learn more about Hilda Simms! And see what's been updated at Of Another Fashion in recent months.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:06 AM on October 28, 2011

simultaneously effortlessly cool and holy shit dorky

I think Pearl Bailey was a little like that too -- robustly glamorous, but not very earthy and not shy about what a goofball she was. In her memoir "The Raw Pearl" she confesses that the first time she was a guest at a rich person's house, she laid on the floor of her bedroom and rolled back and forth across the lush carpeting just to see what it felt like.

Also there's a great chapter about how she and her friends became totally transfixed by one of those piggy banks you can buy in gift shops -- the kind where you put a coin on top and a little mechanical hand comes out and swipes it away. She says they'd just do this over and over, and laugh and laugh, and ultimately I think she wound up giving them as gifts to a lot of people.
posted by hermitosis at 10:07 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I meant "very earthy."
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 AM on October 28, 2011

this is great. I wish the pics were bigger!
posted by supermedusa at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2011

For sheer glamor, attractiveness,sense of decorum, earthiness, general all around appeal: Wanda Sykes
posted by Postroad at 11:01 AM on October 28, 2011

Fantastic post.

Lena Horne must be mentioned here, of course. And I suppose Lisa Bonet qualifies as "vintage" now. (sigh) In which case, let's put Sade and Florence Griffith-Joyner in there too.

But nothing will ever compare to seeing Chaka Khan for the first time in the "I'm Every Woman" video. I don't think I blinked until it was over.
posted by Trurl at 11:15 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Am I misreading this ad? It looks like an example of the kind of anglo-prejudice in beauty that preferred light-skinned models with anglo features and hair, to which the "black is beautiful" movement was responding.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:23 AM on October 28, 2011

I remember in Washington DC when a black female TV reporter was interviewing Lola Falana. Lola declared she was promoting black glamor. The TV reporter asked her, "What is black glamor." Lola answered, "You are." The reporter completely melted in joyous giggles.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:24 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

Great post. Can't wait to spend more time with the site. Do wish the pics were larger though.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2011

Am I misreading this ad?

I think so. "Get the light idea" and "Drink mellow Jax beer" and "Delicious with foods... light, mellow" were the Jax beer marketing taglines in the 1950s. They used it in marketing material that did not have anyone's photo on it, and for ads that had photos of white men. It's not too different an idea that "tastes great, less filling."

See this ad from an El Paso newspaper in 1955. Notice the white guy, and the copy down at the bottom, which says, "...always smooth and satisfying, but never 'filling.' That's the light idea -- JAX beer!"
posted by Houstonian at 12:18 PM on October 28, 2011

Are you guys not clicking the little black and white photo icon in the corner? It takes you to the full-sized post and large(r) image.
posted by hermitosis at 1:49 PM on October 28, 2011

this is very nice web...i like all the photos
posted by flamerz at 5:15 PM on October 28, 2011

This is such great stuff! Thanks for posting it.
posted by mermayd at 6:09 AM on October 29, 2011

This is a great post. Just watched Eartha Kitt singing C'est si bon. C'est magnifique!
posted by marsha56 at 6:22 AM on October 29, 2011

*happy sigh*
posted by Asparagirl at 10:39 AM on October 29, 2011

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